How We Work​

The Called to Action Collaborative is a diverse team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators and consultants, including Indigenous Elders and youth.

We believe that truth is the first step in supporting better relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Our training programs begin with truth – understanding how Indigenous worldviews differ from non-Indigenous worldviews, hearing directly from Indigenous people about the impacts of colonization (including residential schools), and discussing the ongoing legacy of systemic racism against Indigenous people in Canada today.

We also believe that reconciliation requires action. Therefore, we support organizations willing to take concrete steps to advance reconciliation and Indigenization. We explore concepts of allyship and explore meaningful ways non-Indigenous organizations can address the ongoing legacy of colonialism and embrace Indigenous approaches. We then help organizations build and implement a plan of action to create real change.

Our diverse team has a unique blend of experience in sharing about the realities of residential schools and colonial impacts, designing and delivering learning programs, and conducting strategic planning to create systemic change. We bring all the tools in our toolbox to help organizations address the harms of colonialism and create a better community for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together.

Transformative change

We work with clients to develop long-term relationships that support transformative, systemic change within organizations. We offer training combined with planning and project implementation to bridge learning with action.

Holistic engagement

Our approach to education is about more than just knowledge transfer. We work together to change learner perspectives and ways of being by diving deep into learning. We involve the body, spirit, and heart in this work because we believe you can’t change an attitude without an emotional response.

Customized and relationship-based support

We work with organizations to identify, develop, and deliver approaches to meet their unique learning needs rather than by providing one-size-fits-all solutions. Our relationships with clients and community are of utmost importance to us, and in all that we do we seek to uphold these relationships and work in a good way with others.

Co-led, Elder-facilitated teams

Elder consultants are a core part of our team and provide leadership and guidance on all decisions made. Non-Elder consultants create safe opportunities for Elders to do this work by providing support, including assistance with technology needs, project planning and administration, and emotional support for the hard work of truth telling. Our pricing structure reflects our commitment to working in small teams in a way that is culturally safe for Elders and respectful of their time.

Cross-cultural teams

Our approach is informed by the diverse perspectives of our team members. Education about Indigenous peoples is always led by Indigenous consultants. We also believe that non-Indigenous people have an important role to play in educating others by modeling allyship and sharing their experiences about how non-Indigenous people can contribute to reconciliation. In addition, we believe that the work of helping society learn about Indigenous people cannot fall entirely on Indigenous people, and non-Indigenous people who have the appropriate training and experiences have a responsibility to contribute to educating others.

Cultural safety for all participants

We start from a place of support — free of judgement or blame. We aim to lift up our participants, challenge dominant assumptions and ways of being, and help heal the wounds caused by colonization by bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together in a safe environment to do meaningful work. Our goal is to support your organization to fully realize a positive, effective, trusting, and reciprocal relationship with Indigenous partners.

Cultural protocols

Cultural protocols guide our work. For example, we take the time for territorial acknowledgements and cultural introductions. We do not rush speakers. We follow teachings around sharing food together and being good hosts, and we ensure that we provide gifts and honoraria to respect each person’s contributions.

We are inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action (1, 24, 27, 57, 60, 63, 86, 90, and 92) that call upon social workers, healthcare practitioners, lawyers, coaches, athletes, public servants, clergy, students, journalists, businesses and newcomers to Canada to learn about “the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations.” As the Calls to Action state, “This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.”